, Volume 113, Issue 3, pp 339-344,
Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.
Date: 25 May 2013

Generation of THz transients by photoexcited single-crystal GaAs meso-structures

Abstract

We report a sub-picosecond photoresponse and THz transient generation of GaAs single-crystal mesoscopic platelets excited by femtosecond optical pulses. Our structures were fabricated by a top-down technique, by patterning an epitaxial, 500-nm-thick GaAs film grown on top of an AlAs sacrificial layer and then transferring the resulting etched away 10 × 20-μm2 platelets onto an MgO substrate using a micropipette. The freestanding GaAs devices, incorporated into an Au coplanar strip line, exhibited extremely low dark currents and ~0.4 % detection efficiency at 10 V bias. The all-optical, pump–probe carrier dynamics analysis showed that, for 800-nm-wavelength excitation, the intrinsic relaxation of photocarriers featured a 310-fs-wide transient with a 290 fs fall time. We have also carried out a femtosecond, time-resolved electro-optic characterization of our devices and recorded along the transmission line the electrical transients as short as ~600 fs, when the platelet was excited by a train of 100-fs-wide, 800-nm-wavelength optical laser pulses. The platelets have been also demonstrated to be very efficient generators of free-space propagating THz transients with the spectral bandwidth exceeding 2 THz. The presented performance of the epitaxial, freestanding GaAs meso-structured photodevices makes them uniquely suitable for THz-frequency optoelectronic applications, ranging from ultrafast photodetectors to THz-bandwidth optical-to-electrical transducers and photomixers.